Grand Rapids reception to 'complement the engineering base of West Michigan'

Grand Rapids reception to 'complement the engineering base of West Michigan'

Oct 11, 2002

Armen Oumedian '49 is very fond of both his alma mater and his home among the scenic hills of West Michigan.

Armen Oumedian '49 is very fond of both his alma mater and his home among the scenic hills of West Michigan. He thinks there are business opportunities and strong economic futures in store for both Kettering and West Michigan.

So the Grand Rapids man is doing his part to bring the two together. "West Michigan has a substantial, homogeneous economy, offering a big base for industry and a big need for young talent and fresh minds," Oumedian said. "Kettering is broadening its footprint every year, reaching out to embrace the current and future direction of our technical world. I'm interested in bringing the two together."

Scholarships available: Armen Oumedian '49, and his wife, Patricia, provide six scholarships for Kent and Ottawa county students attending Kettering. Next year: 10 scholarships! For more on the Oumedian scholarships, contact Sue Weiss,

A reception is planned for Tuesday, Nov. 5, to do just that. The event will be at the Siemens Dematic Rapistan Red Schoolhouse, 507 Plymouth Ave., Grand Rapids. Alumni are invited to attend a 6 p.m. reception and update on the University. At 7 p.m., current co-op students and prospective Kettering students and their families will join the group. Presenters will be:

  • Bob Nichols, Kettering's vice president for enrollment management,
  • Paul Rau, manager of education at Siemens Dematic Rapistan,
  • Kettering students Timothy Swieter, 21, of Plainwell, Mich., and Bethany Franklin, 20, of Kentwood, discussing what its like to be a co-op student and
  • Siemens Dematic Rapistan Material Handling Systems will be presented with the 'Michigan Co-op Employer of the Year' award, based on a nomination submitted by Kettering. The statewide award is sponsored by the Michigan Council for Cooperative Education.

Swieter and Franklin are among the 26 Kettering co-ops gaining professional experiences at Siemens Dematic Rapistan. Swieter, an Electrical Engineering major, works in lower-level controls and software application engineering design. Franklin, also an Electrical Engineering major, co-ops in the DWO Department, assigned to the Walgreen group.

"Being a co-op student gives you a great community to network in," Swieter said. "My co-op provides network and customer experiences you just don't get in the classroom. I find it very helpful."

Franklin said her co-op job is beneficial beyond the books. "It's great to be able to make money while you're a student," she said. "My experiences are building on each other, creating a foundation that adds something each term."

Alumni attending the Nov. 5 reception will learn about the user-friendly benefits available to them at the university, including Kettering's employment connection, resume filing service and jobs list available through the Alumni Office at There are around 500 Kettering/GMI alumni living in Kent and Ottawa counties. Kettering has 58 students from Kent County and 27 from Ottawa County.

Prospective students and their families will hear about Kettering's highly ranked programs, including the #1 listing for Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering in the "2003 America's Best Colleges Guide" published by "U.S. News & World Report." Kettering's Mechanical Engineering program is #4 in its category and the University's overall rank jumped to the top 10.

Tuesday, Nov. 5
Red Schoolhouse
507 Plymouth Ave., Grand Rapids
6 p.m., alumni reception
7 p.m., reception for alumni, co-op students and prospective students and their parents
RSVP: Maggie Frisbie, Alumni Office, 888-884-7741, ext. 9517,

"In my GMI days, General Motors employed 100 percent of our students," Oumedian said. "Today Kettering has professional co-op students at more than 600 companies. I'm impressed by the diversity of those companies, from automotive and general manufacturing to biomedical and safety engineering. What a great opportunity to complement the business and technology base in West Michigan."

To attend the Nov. 5 reception, RSVP to Maggie Frisbie, Kettering's Alumni Office, 888-884-7741, ext. 9517,

Written by Patricia Mroczek
(810) 762-9533